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Added by madstalk

on 16 Aug 2011 04:57

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Ranking the Best Picture Winners: 1950s

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People who added this item 297  Average listal rating (198 ratings) 6.5  IMDB Rating 6.8 
10. Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
This movie is representative of the pervasive epic illness that infected so many 1950s winner. I'm guessing that the studios saw TV as strong competition and decided to create films that were light on plot and characters but filled to the brim with spectacular (for the 1950s) images and glitzy dancing and singing. Around the World in 80 days is less like an actual movie and more like a boring travelogue slide show. There's room for action and adventure here but instead time is wasted on things like the overlong bullfight from hell and animals grazing in India.
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People who added this item 263  Average listal rating (147 ratings) 6.9  IMDB Rating 6.9 
9. Gigi (1958)
The least creepy thing about this movie is a 33 year old man marrying a 16 yer old in what is supposed to be a happy ending. Societal judging aside Gigi is mostly boring with uninteresting characters and far too few useful things to say. It looks beautiful though.
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People who added this item 140  Average listal rating (85 ratings) 6.4  IMDB Rating 6.7 
8. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
More successful then similar epic Around the World in 80 Days and that's only because of one rollicking train wreck sequence that closes the film. Other than that it has the overblown epic malady in spades. I thought it was bad when Cecil B. Demille decided to show a circus parade in its entirety. Then, 45 minutes later, he decided to show another circus parade in its entirety - this one featuring some of the most obvious product placement ever (it shows horribly costumed Disney characters parading while slack jawed yokels excitedly shout Goofy! and Mickey!). It's quasi circus documentary stuff works pretty well but the love story here is one of the worst written ones I've ever seen.
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People who added this item 417  Average listal rating (251 ratings) 7.2  IMDB Rating 7.3 
7. An American in Paris (1951)
Directed by the same guy who did Gigi, An American in Paris is slightly more successful because it combines its luscious cinematography with a more tasteful and fun love story. It has a ridiculous conclusion and an almost inexplicable 15 minute long silent ballet sequence but at least its trying something new.
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People who added this item 446  Average listal rating (259 ratings) 7.7  IMDB Rating 7.8 
6. From Here to Eternity (1953)
I was expecting a bit more from this one based on its reputation and that really famous beach scene. Still its a nicely plotted war (though it mostly takes place before Pearl Harbor) drama that has a really interesting time and place for its setting. When those bombs go off in the end you kind of realize how petty and unimportant all the romantic drama was. I don't know, however, if that's a good or bad thing.
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People who added this item 197  Average listal rating (116 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating 7.7 
5. Marty (1955)
If overblown, overlong epics like Around the World in 80 Days and The Greatest Show on Earth are poisoning your soul than Marty is your antidote. It is still the shortest Best Picture winner and that actually might be a fault. It focuses on two characters beginning their romantic entanglement but you get so wrapped up in their stories and their personalities that the abrupt ending feels almost cheap. Both leads are solid but I wish they had given Betsy Blair more screen time and more to do.
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People who added this item 825  Average listal rating (531 ratings) 8.1  IMDB Rating 8.3 
4. On the Waterfront (1954)
This is one of those great personal stories that only a director who sold other people down the river could make. It has a find performance by Brando, some incredibly memorable and moving scenes and a mostly interesting story.
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People who added this item 95  Average listal rating (61 ratings) 7.4  IMDB Rating 7.6 
3. All the King's Men (1949)
Filled with high political drama and a great acting performance by Broderick Crawford. The last few minutes are gripping and about as shocking as a film released in 1949 can be.
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People who added this item 908  Average listal rating (594 ratings) 8  IMDB Rating 8.2 
2. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
A surprisingly balanced look at life in a Japanese prison camp during World War II. The movie has some problems with its action choreography (especially the gun fights) but that doesn't prevent it from having at least a couple insanely memorable set pieces. The fight among the bats is great and there is, of course, the famous sequence of the bridge blowing up. It's to the film's credit that the destruction of a bridge built through forced POW labor is the most emotional and tragic scene in the film.
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People who added this item 943  Average listal rating (564 ratings) 8.3  IMDB Rating 8.4 
1. All About Eve (1950)
All About Eve is filled with wonderful memorable characters and its plot is different enough to really make it stand out from the crowd. It is one of the best ruminations on the pitfalls and benefits of fame that has ever been created. Anne Baxter's performance here as the devious Eve is one for the ages. One of the few timeless Best Picture winners from this decade.
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I've made it my current goal to watch all the Best Picture winning films. Here's my ranking for the victors from 1950-1959. NOTE: My dates here are based off the year in which a film actually took home the statue and not the release year.

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Ranking my Movies of 2011


Posted: 1 year, 12 months ago at Sep 8 19:46
Continuing on to the 1950's recipients...

10.The Greatest Show on Earth: A complete trainwreck--both figuratively and at the ending, literally. Had the Academy demonstrated some semblance of patience, they would have given Cecil B. DeMille his Best Picture trophy for his magnum opus and final film four years later: The Ten Commandments.

9. An American in Paris: In actuality, it's a close call between GSOE and this pretentious turkey. No story, no recognizable character, and all pretty musical numbers for the sake of having them. Pretty, but there is no there there.

8. Marty: I tried watching this one. Several times. I cannot recall a single moment in this film it is so bloody forgettable and unimpressionable.

7. Gigi: We're in complete agreement here. How can a 1950's musical be so boring?

6. Around the World in 80 Days: I rather don't mind a faithful adaptation of Jules Verne, and if nothing else, the actors here are all admirable and charming. They are the characters rather than the writing. Deep characterization, if nothing else, would have poisoned this adaptation (see 2004 Disney remake with Jackie Chan).

5. From Here to Eternity: Remains to this day the quintessential Pearl Harbor movie.

4. All the King's Men: Generally speaking, I hate political films. This one, is an exception and a well made and well acted one to boot. Not the remake, however.

3. The Bridge on the River Kwai: Complete agreement here.

2. On the Waterfront: In addition to what you just said, it's also a cautionary tale of the growing dangers and corruption of unions.

1. All About Eve: Goes without saying and so much more.

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